VRS271 – Let’s Book Direct! With Annie Switzer and Joe Godar

Last year, the inaugural #BookDirect Guest Education Day reached an estimated 3.5 million travelers with direct email campaigns and had a social reach of over 24 million consumers.

A year later, the movement hasn’t lost any momentum as more and more owners, and property managers release their dependence on the major OTAs and increase their confidence in the ability to market directly to travelers.

Regional listing sites are reporting more success as platforms such as ECBYO and Florida Rental by Owners demonstrate the demand for local marketing. VRM Intel reports on several large property managers who have become wholly independent of the OTAs. And owners are showing creativity in the ways they market on social media with bookings coming from their Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and Google Business.

Is it a revolution?

Probably not, but there’s a steady progression of business owners striving for more direct bookings and less reliance on the big guys.

Joe Godar has been talking about this for many years, and his booking platform ivacation Online has been delivering a booking solution to these owners over that time. More recently his concentration on regional sites has opened up opportunities to many more.

Annie Switzer is the co-founder of the popular Facebook group, Say No to VRBO Service Fees with over 6,000 members making it one of the fastest growing vacation rental groups on the platform. She’s a successful vacation rental investor who has explored a range of methods of taking direct reservations and boosting her business along the way.

Joe and Annie join me to share their wisdom on moving away from the OTAs, offering nuggets of advice that you can take away and begin to apply to your own business.

We also feature a number of owners and managers who have already done this and are making their way without dependence on the big listing sites.

Links to:

https://www.lodgify.com/blog/book-direct-day (Includes Instagram Template download)


https://smokymountainsbyowners.com/browse Pat Enders – Sugar Shack Chalet


https://www.floridarentalbyowners.com/ Michele Totino and Nancy McAleer




https://peaceriverhouse.com/ (Owners website) Andrea Dirienzio




http://vacationadirondacks.com/ – Steve Elsey


https://beachretreatsfl.com/ Emma Carter Stringer


https://www.staynashvillevacationhomes.com Megan McCrae




https://princevillevacationrentals.com/ Billy O’Sullivan Darik Eaton


https://www.annamariaislandhomerental.com/ – Nancy McAleer


https://www.seahorsediamondbeach.com.au – Dianne Denton